A Month Later: Basic Supplies Still Lacking in Haiti

Food, water, shelter and other basic necessities are still lacking in Haiti, one month after the country was struck with a major earthquake that left its capital city in rubble, CBC News reports. Infrastructure problems are still hampering the smooth flow of international aid and at least three million people haven’t received much-needed supplies.

“Most people in the tent villages are still in tents made of sheets,” said CBC reporter David Gutnick, who is on the ground in Port-au-Prince. “They just have little blue plastic tarps over them. There’s nothing that really seals them in.”

The American Red Cross has released its progress report one month after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The relief agency has mobilized some USD255 million for the quake-hit nation. Of the sum, the American Red Cross has so far disbursed or committed some USD80 million for food and water, shelter, and health and family services.

Meanwhile, the U.K. Department for International Development, has raised 77 million pounds (USD120 million) in aid for Haiti. The British development agency is now focused on providing shelter and sanitation for more than 1 million homeless people in Port-au-Prince and rural areas.

International agency Oxfam, likewise, is scrambling to address poor sanitation conditions in Haiti before the rainy season begins in April. With six more weeks before the onset of the rainy season, Oxfam fears the spread of water-borne illnesses due to poor drainage systems. The agency intends to reach some 500,000 Haitians by July. It has so far assisted 100,000 since the Jan. 12 earthquake.

Agriculture and the removal of rubble remain top priorities of the United Nations in Haiti. Rubble removal will be conducted under the cash-for-work program, according to U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes, adding that private firms will also be tapped to provide large-scale heavy lifting equipment. Holmes said that agriculture projects will also need funding. More than USD200 million in flash appeal has yet to be allotted to particular projects, he added.

Ma. Rizza Leonzon contributed to this report. 

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.

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